HAMPTON, VA - Michael Brandon Wade, the 2017 Democratic nominee for Virginia’s 91st District House of Delegates seat, has officially announced his campaign for the 2019 election cycle.
Wade kicked off his campaign on Saturday at Coasters Beach Grill in Hampton, surrounded by dozens of friends, supporters and Hampton’s city officials including Vice-Mayor Jimmy Gray, Councilman Steve Brown, and school board member Dr. Richard Mason.
During the event, American Federation of Government Employees Local 2328 President Sheila Elliott thanked Wade for his volunteer efforts and strong support for working men, women, and labor. Other 2019 Democratic hopefuls attending included former Congressional candidate Karen Mallard, now running for Virginia’s 84th Delegate district, and veteran Herb Jones, running to unseat Republican Majority Leader Tommy Norment in the 3rd Senate district.
Wade outlined his vision for the future by touching on his own past and the journey that led him to where he is today. “I’ve spent the last twenty years of my professional career transforming businesses and nonprofits using technology, translating digital technology for the analog generation, and analog for the digital one,” he said. “We need leaders willing and able to help transition us from an economy built on fossil fuels to one run by renewable energy, from corporations that extract value from communities to cooperatives that add value to them and build solidarity with the working class.
Wade is proud of what he and his fellow candidates accomplished in 2017, helping to set the agenda for Virginia’s future.
“Last cycle we ran on a campaign to expand Medicaid. We may have lost that race, but ultimately the people of Virginia won. Today more than 400,000 people now have healthcare that they were previously denied. I count that as a win.”
“And now we can imagine an even brighter future,” said Wade, a husband and father of two daughters.
He is not alone in his optimism..
Federal judges adopted a plan on Tuesday that addresses partisan racial gerrymandering by redrawing boundaries of 26 House districts, including the 91st. The redrawn 91st has undergone a seismic shift, swinging from an 11.5 percent Republican edge to an 8.3 percent Democratic advantage. (https://www.vpap.org/offices/house-of-delegates-91/redistricting/)
Political analyst Larry Sabato’s “Crystal Ball” has labeled the 91st District now a “Likely” Democratic pick-up amid a slew of predictions that have Democrats picking up at least five seats statewide and as many as a dozen in the 2019 general election.
This spells trouble for the incumbent, Gordon Helsel, who had never faced a challenger for his House of Delegates seat until Wade‘s 2017 run. The 2017 wave election that saw the Democrats come within a single vote of retaking control of the House caught many political observers by surprise. That won’t be the case this time around.
Wade has clear ideas on where he wants to see Virginia go.
“When we win this seat, when Virginia Democrats take control of the General Assembly, Virginia will at long-last have a party in power that believes in equal pay for equal work, for a living wage, and for making sure that the world we leave for future generations is not one beset by environmental collapse.”
“The eyes of the nation will be looking to Virginia this year, and the path to victory in ‘19 runs through the 91st.”